St. Petersburg: A City for Art Lovers

Made up of five different arts districts, downtown St. Petersburg is a mecca of restaurants, boutiques, art, and music for all visitors to enjoy.  After your conference sessions are over for the day, enjoy the nightlife and the sights that are found throughout the downtown districts.

Central Arts District st. pete district - central arts

Encompassing the 300-700 blocks of Central Avenue, you can easily enjoy a full day getting to know the city’s art hub. Lovers of art will enjoy the murals and street art seen all over the district and foodies will find restaurants to rave about. Live music can be heard at the many restaurants that line the streets like Acropolis Green Taverna, La V, and Cycle Brewing. Some of the must-sees include the Morean Arts Center, Morean Glass Studio & Hot Shop (which offers glassblowing demonstrations four times daily for a fee of $8.95), and the Florida CraftArt Gallery. For those of you who want a more hands-on approach, check out the Morean Glass Studio’s Glass Experiences for the chance to create your own piece of glass art.  Don’t forget to take the trolley for a fun experience or drive.

Grand Central District st. pete district - grand central

Formed in 2001, Grand Central District is recognized as a Florida Main Street Community. Their goal is to revitalize the community through an eclectic mix of historic preservation and economic development. Purchase some books at Haslam’s Book Store, the largest new & used book store in Florida. Don’t worry about being hungry after your conference sessions are over: with multiple cuisine options in Grand Central District like Casita Taqueria, Punky’s Bar&Grill, Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria, or (swah-rey), you’ll be sure to find something that pleases your taste buds.

The Edge District st. pete district - the edge

As another Florida Main Street Community, The Edge District claims its sense of vibrancy from its pubs, clubs, galleries, and restaurants. Stop by Green Bench Brewing Company and enjoy the tasting room, where you can try over 15 different varieties as you take in the uniqueness of the décor. Continue out into their Beer Garden where the landscaped seating and covered patio provide a great place to enjoy the lawn games, food trucks, and live music on the weekends. Explore The Edge District and take painting classes, visit boutiques, and discover hand-crafted beauty products and jewelry.

Warehouse Arts District st. pete district - warehouse

The Warehouse Arts District started as an industrial zone, and because of its large spaces, artists love using this area to complete larger-scale projects. Come visit the Duncan McClellan Gallery or the Train Station Center for Clay. If you’re looking for a great way to tour the district after your conference sessions, take advantage of the WADA (Warehouse Arts District Associations) Walks. With two Walks to choose from, these self-guided tours take you through a few of the Districts must-see places.

  • WADA Walk One takes you to the Duncan McClellan Gallery and St. Pete Hot Glass Workshop, Zen Glass Studio and Gallery, Charlie Parker Pottery, The Venture Compound, and Funktionhouse, Urban Lumber & Furnishings.
  • WADA Walk Two takes you along 22nd Street South to visit Carrie Jadus Fine and Portraiture, MGA Sculpture Studio, Dazzio Art Experience, Morean Center for Clay, The Clay Center of St. Petersburg, and From Mayan Hands/New World Imports.

Peruse the Where to Visit page for the list of WADA Walk addresses along with other galleries and studios not included in either Walk list.

Waterfront Arts District st. pete district - waterfront arts

Don’t miss out on exploring the Waterfront Arts District! This district boast numerous museums such as the Dali Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Chihuly Collection, and more. The Hilton Hotel where the conference is being held is also located in this district, so attendees won’t have far to travel to visit the sights that the Waterfront Arts District has to offer. Spend your free time enjoying the nightlife, visiting museums, or simply taking a walk or watching a movie.

No matter which districts you are able to visit, downtown St. Petersburg has beauty to offer at every turn.

Sunken Gardens

Located about 10 minutes from the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront hotel where the 32nd  Annual Florida Literacy Coalition conference is being held, Sunken Gardens is a great and easy stop to unwind for a couple of hours.

The Gardens

Pay a visit to St. Petersburg’s historic Sunken Gardens. Over 100 years old, Sunken Gardens is St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum. These lush gardens cover four acres and are a treasured piece of the city.

sunken gardens Prepare to enter a place of tranquility once you step foot in this tropical paradise. Enjoy strolling among 50,000 plants (over 500 species) and relax with the sight and sounds of birds as you explore the winding paths. With a rock garden, waterfalls, and a wishing well, Sunken Gardens is a pleasurable activity for the off-hours during your conference stay.


Sunken Gardens was originally a lake that George Turner purchased, drained, and turned into a tropical garden so captivating that by the 1920’s, he was able to turn it into a business. Turner’s family continued the tradition for three generations until the city of St. Petersburg came together to purchase the garden as a way of continuing and honoring George Turner’s original vision.

Today, the Gardens are a cultural and educational center in St. Petersburg, offering workshops and weekly events for people of all ages to enjoy. Visit the Sunken Gardens’s website  for detailed information about events.


Hourssunken gardens map

Monday – Saturday 10 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday noon – 4:30 pm

Last admission is sold at 4pm daily.


  • $10 Adults
  • $8 Seniors (62+)
  • $4 Children (2-11)


2012 Silent Auction Preview!

I have had the pleasure to speak with some of you already but for those of you I haven’t, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jordan and I’ve been serving as FLC’s Event Coordinator Intern since January. My primary focus has been assisting in planning the 28th annual Florida Literacy Conference and I have to admit that I’m extremely excited about our Silent Auction this year. I wanted to share a few of my favorite items we’ll have at the auction for our conference attendees to bid on!

  • Two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. that Southwest flies. There are no blackout dates and checking luggage is always free with Southwest! Now there is no excuse to not take that tropical vacation you have been daydreaming of.
  • Admission tickets into Florida’s most exciting attractions including; Seaworld, Universal Studios, Bush Gardens, and any of the four Disney parks. Make a family fun day out of any of these auction items!
  • And my personal favorite auction items, three different photography packages for family portraits by Cason Photography. There is nothing like a beautiful family photo with Tampa’s natural beauty as your backdrop.

All proceeds from the silent auction will help FLC support community based literacy organizations with their training and program development needs. The auction will be open for bids beginning Wednesday, May 9 at 8:30am and will close on Thursday, May 10 at 3:10pm.

Besides the items aforementioned, we will have many more fabulous gifts to bid on so be sure to stop by the silent auction tables and bring back something for your loved ones!


Are there any items that you would love to see at our silent auction? Tell us about them and I will set out to see what I can do!

Food Network and St. Pete!

I often find myself watching the Food Network and seeing all of these amazing places. I’ll put the restaurant in a memo in my phone (an “in case you find your self in (insert area)” list) and often forget about it completely. THIS TIME I thought ahead for both of us. St. Pete has three restaurants, close to our hotel, that have been on various Food Network shows! Not only will you be able to go home and say you spent a week at a beautiful location, learned new strategies for working with adult learners, and met great people, you can also add that you ate at a restaurant that was on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!

Here’s the scoop!

Columbia Restaurant
Show: Drinking Made Easy
Distance from Conference hotel: 1.1 mi
Avg Cost per plate: $8/Tapas $20/Dinner, Drinks Vary 

Munch’s Restaurant and Sundrie
Show: Diners, Drive-ins & Dives
Distance from Conference hotel: 2.8 mi
Avg Cost per plate:  $7/Lunch 

Nitally’s Thai-Mex Cuisine
Show: Heat Seekers
Distance from Conference hotel: 2.4 mi
Avg Cost per plate: $9/Lunch

There are also plenty of other great restaurants in St. Pete that are close to the hotel and may one day be on a TV show. Maybe YOU need to be the one to discover it and spread the word to all your friends? Some other places closeby and worth checking out include:

China Kitchen
Distance: 0.4 mi

Ceviche (Meet up with Conference Attendees on Tuesday night for Tapas Tuesdays!)
Distance: 0.3 mi

Z Grille
Distance: 0.2 mi

Gratzzi Italian Grille
Distance: 0.2 mi

Cafe Alma
Distance: 0.3 mi

Subway (Boxed lunch on Wednesdays for $4.50!)
Distance: 0.4 mi

Cafe 100
Distance: 0.2 mi

Kahwa Coffee
Distance: 0.2 mi

Midtown Sundries
Distance: 0.3 mi

Session Sneak Peek! Mandalas and Metaphors

Sun/Shadow  Mandala

 What is a Mandala?  Mandalas are circular and geometric representations of images of spiritual life, both outer (sun) and inner (shadow). They symbolize aspects of life such as earth, water, air, and fire as well as all other components of life.

What is a Metaphor?  Metaphors are literary figures of speech where one subject is compared symbolically to another unrelated subject.

A famous metaphor comes from Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It”:

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances; — William ShakespeareAs You Like It, 2/7[1]

This quote is a metaphor because the world is not literally a stage. By saying that the world is a stage, Shakespeare makes a comparison between the world and a stage to give an understanding about how the world and the people in it work

But this workshop is about differentiation in learning.  How do mandalas and metaphors have to do with teaching my students with differing levels of readiness, learning profiles and interests?  How do I teach abstract ideas like metaphors and idioms to my adult students?

Let’s start with a lesson plan that “hooks” the student. That’s where you come in to this session!

Hope Lynn will be presenting this session on Thursday at Conference.

Call for Conference Guest Bloggers!

Are you interested in dipping your feet in the social media waters?

Do you have a passion for writing?

Are you going to be at the 2012 Florida Literacy Conference?


We are looking for YOU to help us blog! FLC is seeking guest bloggers to contribute their thoughts/perceptions of the 2012 Florida Literacy Conference to this blog.  If you are interested in writing before, during or after conference,  complete the 2012 Conference Blogger Information Form and submit it to Annie Schmidt,,  by Friday, April 27.

Green Light Special! Buy 10 get 1 FREE Conference Registration!

Green Light Special!

Buy 10 Get 1 FREE!

Attention Florida Literacy Conference Registrants, we have a green light special for conference registrations!  Buy 10, get 1 free!

Yes!  It is true!  If you send on planning ten (10) or more people from your organization to the Florida Literacy Conference, you will get one registration free!  Registrations must be sent together.  So, have one person collect all eleven (11) registrations, write a check for ten (10)!  Or, collect all twenty-two (22) registrations, and write a check for twenty (20)!

If you’re a real super saver, then don’t forget, early bird registration ends March 9!

For more information about the conference, go to

Why you should stay at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, site for the 2012 FLC Conference

Welcome to the St. Petersburg Hilton Bayfront! Steps from our front door your attendees will enjoy a vibrant pedestrian friendly waterfront district.

Enjoy sailing and fishing charters, dolphin tours, and amazing local dining and night life. No cars needed, you can walk, use the local trolley with a stop in front of the hotel or our hotel shuttle. For the second year in row American Style Magazine has named St.Petersburg the TOP Arts Destination City in the Country. This is the tenth year we have been recognized for our vibrant arts community and many of our offerings are located just steps from the hotel in including the New Salvador Dali Museum and the Dale Chilhuly Collection.

Every guest room & suite offers spectacular views or partial views of Tampa Bay, The Sunshine Skyway Bridge or Downtown St. Petersburg and The St. Petersburg Sailboat Harbor. Our Hilton Honors Lounge located on the 15th floor has panoramic views and the perfect spot forVIP’s to be located.

Our spacious and elegant lobby with marble and crystal accents leads to 333 over sized guestrooms which feature the Hilton Serenity Bed Collection, Crabtree & Evelyn Amenities, an mp3 player dock and wireless internet availability. 28 Alcove Suites and 3 Parlor Suites. Our newly remodeled Executive Lounge on the 15th Floor features panoramic views of the Tampa Bay and offers complimentary continental breakfast and happy hour events for VIP guests. The hotel boasts over 30,000 square feet of unobstructed meeting space located on one floor with state-of the-art meeting room furniture

Our award winning Tangerine restaurant, offers upscale dining in a trendy atmosphere. On-Site Starbucks offers complimentary wireless internet access. New remodeled upscale Lobby Bar with backdrop that ties in the new Dali Museum.

Complimentary wireless Internet Access in public Foyers Spa Olimpia at the Hilton pampers our guests with massages, body treatments, facials, manicures and hair styling.BusinessCenteris open 24-hours and can meet many of your administrative needs when away from the office. Stay active in our heated pool, oversized Jacuzzi and full-service Fitness Center.

This is the location for the 2012 Florida Literacy Coalition Conference. For more information about registration or presenting at conference, please check out our website. 

Why you should visit St. Petersburg, site for the 2012 FLC Conference



With an average of 361 sunny days a year, there’s no doubting St. Petersburg’s sunny disposition. But it’s the action in downtown St. Pete that has things really heating up in the ‘Sunshine City.’


St. Pete Pier

Featuring seven miles of beautifully preserved downtown waterfront parks, the area makes for a perfect leisurely stroll along the shoreline. This pedestrian friendly city center boasts more than just an abundance of sunshine, offering up open-air eateries, shops, boutiques and culture galore.


Dali Museum

The Pier, a landmark building located in the heart of St. Petersburg is a unique piece of Florida architecture that offers visitors a chance to experience the waterfront along Tampa Bay. Located at the end of a 1/4-mile-long approach, this five story inverted pyramid features shops, restaurants, its own aquarium, live music and even boat docks.


Museum of Fine Art

Downtown is alive with the arts, including the stunning new Dali Museum, the permanent home of the most comprehensive collection of the great Spanish artist’s works. You can also visit the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) or the Chihuly Collection, two other world-class spots for art lovers. The MFA features 4,000 objects, including works by Cezanne, Monet, Gauguin, Renoir and O’Keeffe—while the Chihuly Collection (the only space of its kind in the world) is a permanent display of works by legendary glass artist Dale Chihuly.


Chihuly Chandeliers

At night, things really get going. Bars and restaurants of all kinds sling drinks and every first Friday of the month, the city hosts a big block party along Central Avenue, complete with live music, food, drinks and dancing in the street.

We hope you enjoy your stay! Register for the FLC Conference Today!